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What is the Reykjavik Protocol?

The Reykjavik Protocol is a set of principles governing how suppliers can responsibly bring their solutions to market. This first-of-its-kind set of principles provides an operational framework for nature-deployed carbon removal companies across the industry.

This document has been named “The Reykjavik Protocol” based on the location where the first Signatories came together to codify these Principles, and in honor of Iceland’s sustained leadership, innovation, and urgency in working with nature to combat the climate crisis.

Who are the audiences for the protocol?

The primary audience for the protocol consists of current and potential buyers of nature-deployed environmental credits. They seek guidance on supplier best practices and wish to understand the credibility commitments of suppliers in the nature-deployed environmental credits domain.

 

The key signatories of the protocol are suppliers who generate nature-deployed environmental credits.

Why was the protocol written?

This Protocol primarily addresses structural risk faced by suppliers and their supporters by providing a structure and set of Principles that can serve as a shared foundation for those generating environmental credits. By providing a set of Principles for how suppliers can responsibly bring their solutions to market and reduce industry-wide conflicts of interest, we aim to address the ineffective risk transfer that has hindered environmental markets, increase the quality and standardization of the assets produced, and enable the development of the market structures required to enable these solutions at scale. 

What are organizations committing to when they sign the Reykjavik Protocol?

Suppliers signing the Reykjavik Protocol commit to implementing its principles for all their environmental credit projects within the next two years. These suppliers, acting as project developers generating environmental credits, will also integrate these principles into ongoing and new projects. The maturity level of a supplier is detailed in the protocol's definitions section.

Other organizations that sign the Reykjavik Protocol must adhere to the principles relevant to their role in the Credit Generation Value Chain. They commit to implementing the specified guidance within a two-year period, and they are expected to address and disclose any conflicts of interest.

 

The Reykjavik Protocol does not attempt to answer every question that it raises, specifically around the mechanism to ensure compliance by signatories within a 1-2 year window. Signatories and writers of the protocol expect to stipulate adherence and enforcement in subsequent documentation. 

What does it mean for a scientific or academic organization to support the protocol?

Supporting the Protocol as an academic or scientific organization means that you will a) create awareness about the importance and the role of the Protocol to reduce structural uncertainty, and b) advocate for the entities in the supplier ecosystem that your organization engages with to accept and sign onto the standard and adopt the Protocol in its true spirit.

How frequently will the Reykjavik Principles be updated?

Given the continuous evolution and nascent stage of environmental markets, the Reykjavik Protocol will adapt based on market maturity. We anticipate annual updates at minimum. As highlighted in Principle XI - Evolvability, the credit issuance process and the protocol will be regularly assessed and revised, at least annually.

How can other organizations support the Reykjavik protocol?

We recommend that environmental credit buyers choose organizations aligned with the protocol's principles and who are its signatories.

Who validates a methodology? 

The Protocol specifically uses Best Available Science and independent scientists to validate a methodology. Unlike the current system where registries are the gatekeepers of methodologies, the Protocol separates concerns to allow for consistency across the market. This decentralizes the process, increases speed and reduces conflicts.

Why are Social and Environmental Impacts included in the methodology? 

Enshrining social and environmental impacts in the methodology ensures that these are considered as part of credit generation. Open systems work in the real world and have real positive and negative impacts on the world. Methodologies that don’t consider these impacts lend themselves to tunnel vision. Considering these will help to expose irresponsible actors. 

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